I was recently introduced to this delicacy and ever since we tried them, I have been working hard to master my own recipe for this delicious fruit buns.
Traditionally, the Hot Cross buns are eaten in countries with British influence during Easter time, but they continue to enjoy them throughout the year as fruit buns, which is basically the same bread but without the white cross on them.
I found that there are two ways to get the cross done and I color coded the options in this recipe so it is less confusing. Cross Option N°1 and Cross Option N°2.
The first option is mostly visual as it doesn't have any added flavors but it makes the buns look very professional. It's made is with a mix of flour and water and you have to draw the cross before you bake the buns. In the list of ingredients I refer to this way of making the cross as "Cross Option N°1"
The second option is easier and sweeter too, and it consists in drawing the cross after the bread has been baked and cooled down, with a mix made out of icing sugar and milk. In the list of ingredients I will refer to this way of making the cross as "Cross Option N°2"
I will take the time to explain both ways and i hope it is not too confusing. So, here we go with the recipe:
For the dough
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of warm milk
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of white sugar
- 1/3 cup of melted butter
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 4 cups of flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup of chopped raisins (you can use any other dried fruit chopped)
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp of salt
For the Glaze
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 3 tbsp of water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of plain flour
- 6-7 tbsp of water
- 3/4 cup of Icing sugar
- 1 tbsp of milk
- In a large bowl mix eggs, warm milk, sugars, butter and yeast. Let it rest for 5 minutes until it gets foamy.
- Add to the bowl the rest of the dry ingredients including the raisins and mix with your hand until it forms a dough. (if it is too sticky add an extra 1/4 cup of flour).
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes by hand or until it looks smooth and it doesn't break or separate anymore.
- Grease a large bowl and sit the dough in it. Cover it with a damp cloth or cling film and let it rest for 90 minutes. I am using here the pictures of my Burger Buns but it is the same procedure.
- Punch the dough down and cut into 16 pieces (first in half and then half of half...etc until you have 16 pieces) and form balls with them.
- Place the buns on a lined baking tray 1 inch or 2.5 cm apart from each other. (I use a silicone mat on top of the baking tray and with that I don't have to grease it or spray it but if you don't have one of those, you can use parchment paper and spray it with baking spray or grease it with butter.
- Cover the buns with a tea towel, and again let them rest in a cozy place for an hour or until they double their size.
- Preheat oven at 350 °F - 180 °C (If you want the Cross Option 1, this is the right time to make it, the instructions are below)
- Bake for 13 minutes or until golden.
- In a small pot mix sugar, water and vanilla and bring it to a light simmer.
- As soon as the buns come out of the oven brush the glace all over them.
- Now you just have to wait for your buns to cool down a bit to eat them. (If you want the Cross Option N°2, after they are completely cooled down is the right time to do it, instructions below)
Now you will see below the instructions for the cross on the hot cross buns.
Cross Option N°1
- Mix flour and water and place it in a little bag and snip the tip of one corner of the bag so you can pipe it onto the buns.
- After Step N° 8, that is right before you are going to pop them in the oven, make a cross mark with the back of a knife on your bun making sure you don't cut through the dough, just mark it so the flour mixture doesn't fall of place.
- Pipe the mix following the marks you made. Now continue with step N° 9 and the glacing as indicated above.
- Mix milk and sugar and put it in a piping bag.
- After your buns have been baked, glaced and completely cooled down, draw the crosses on top of them with the icing sugar mix. After that you just have to wait until the crosses dry and you are done.
If you have any questions about the recipe or any of the techniques that I explain here, please leave me a comment and I will reply as soon as possible.
See you soon.